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  • Flashbacking

    I'm getting ready to start a script in which I will cut back and forth between two story lines similar to Citizen Kane. The stories take place six months apart and never catch up to each other. My question is whether I should include "Flashback" in the slugline each time I writer an earlier scene, or if it's not needed since it should always be obvious the time in which each scene is taking place.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Flashbacking

    Are they two stories happening at different times to two different people, or is it an actual flashback?

    I have a screenplay that follows two different story lines in two different periods of time (one being the past and one being the present). I didn't write "flashback" for any of the things in the past because, in my case, it wasn't really a "flashback," but rather it was the present for that story line. Towards the end, it becomes apparent that one of the story lines happened in the past.

    But, in another one, I do use "flashback" because the sequence of events for the same person(s) is out of order, so to speak. Still, I think that anyone that read it would be clear it was a flashback, but I still included it because I thought it made it easier to read.

    So, I know my answer has probably not been helpful so far.


    • #3
      Re: Flashbacking

      "Flashing back" ?

      I agree that for it to be a 'flashback' it has to be happening to the same character/story though. It's what has already happened to them. So a merely "earlier" event (happening to someone else or in another story)wouldn't be a "flashback" ... or would it?
      "As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -
      that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves."
      -Mahatma Gandhi.


      • #4
        Re: Flashbacking

        Originally posted by tabula rasa View Post
        "Flashing back" ?
        I wasn't being serious. Just making up my own words.

        I think you're both right and will write it as such.


        • #5
          Re: Flashbacking

          First of all, you need to ask yourself how would the time difference be 'obvious', and would it be obvious to all readers? The last thing you want your reader to do is process and store a lot of 'visual' imformation as they move through the story.

          Off the bat, it sounds like you would need a big, fat aside right up front to tell the reader how to follow the two stories, which I think should be avoided.

          What is most important is clarity, and you do not need to stick to any one convention to get it.

          Why not use SIX MONTHS EARLIER and PRESENT to differentiate? If the earlier story does excelerate to say five months earlier, then four months earlier, etc., then write it that way.

          About all I can offer.